Meet the Instructors
Tara Repsher, BFA (Head Professional Teacher) holds a BFA in dance performance and education from Towson University. She received her early training from Patricia Bartholomew at Stage Door Studio. Her teaching experience covers many genres of dance, including ballet, modern, jazz, pointe, lyrical, musical theatre, and tap. While performing with the Towson University Dance Company she was asked to perform in a restaging of Martha Graham's "Panorama." Tara recently served as company director and dance teacher at Meade Senior High School in Maryland for five years. Her choreography has been seen at the Maryland High School Dance Festivals, Northampton Community College, and Walt Disney World. Tara is an adjunct faculty member in Muhlenberg College’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
Lisa Bottitta-Busfield, Ed.M. (Educational Director and Administrative Manager) is a 2002 graduate of Muhlenberg’s Theatre & Dance Department, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in dance. She has master’s degree in dance education from Temple University. While in college, she participated annually in the American College Dance Festival (ACDFA) and made her film debut as a dancer in the independent film A.K.A. Ms. Bottitta-Busfield has studied with such distinguished dance educators as Karen Dearborn, Luke Kahlich, Clare Byrne, Rebecca Lazier, Ann Vachon, and Brad Parquette. She is a Part-Time Lecturer in Muhlenberg’s Dance Program, and has also served as a faculty member for the University of Saint Francis, in Fort Wayne, Ind.; the Indiana University–Purdue University, Fort Wayne; and Huntington University. Ms. Bottitta-Busfield also choreographed and taught modern technique for the New American Youth Ballet Conservatory, and taught dance technique for The Fort Wayne School of Dance. She has performed as a modern dancer for Dance Arts Theater company in Fort Wayne, and has been a member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) since 2003. Ms. Bottitta-Busfield is also Youth Education Director for MCDC.
Laura Barbalato is a senior at Muhlenberg College pursuing a double-major in dance and biology. She began her teaching experience in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., assisting in hip hop and pointe classes. Once at Muhlenberg, Laura began her studies in dance education, which included teaching an after-school dance program at Cleveland Elementary School in Allentown. This is her third year with MCDC, and she will be teaching Advanced Ballet, Creative Movement, Advanced Modern, and Beginner/Intermediate Modern. Outside of the classroom, Laura is a campus tour guide and delegate, a lab assistant for introductory biology students, and a member of the MINT* hip hop dance team. She has also choreographed her own work as well as performing in a number of Muhlenberg College mainstage dance concerts.
Sarah Braviak is a senior at Muhlenberg College majoring in dance and psychology. Sarah studied abroad at the Florence University of the Arts in Italy where she continued her liberal arts education while working on choreography and performance. While in Italy, Sarah showcased her choreography along side the Florence Dance Company at the Orsanmichele and the Salone die Cinquecento. Sarah is president of the Muhlenberg Dance Association and regularly performs in their seasonal concerts as well the touring ensemble DanceMax Moving Company. She graduated from the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts High School at MCST, where she studied modern, ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance. Before Muhlenberg, Sarah was a member of project:Smith and Freespace 2, where she performed in various New Jersey and New York City venues while also assistant-teaching contemporary, modern, and jazz classes. Sarah has taught an after-school dance program in the Allentown School District through the Teaching Dance class at Muhlenberg and is excited to begin her fourth semester with MCDC.
Samantha Chu is a senior at Muhlenberg College majoring in dance and mathematics and pursuing certification in math secondary education. Throughout her dance career she has studied multiple dance genres, including modern, jazz, ballet, and ballroom. She has continued her dance education at Muhlenberg through participation in many performance and choreographic opportunities. This year she is especially excited to be with the DanceMax Moving Company and continuing her dance teaching experiences with MCDC.
Noah Dach is a student at Muhlenberg College double-majoring in dance and business, expecting to graduate in 2016. He is trained in the styles of hip hop, contemporary, modern, jazz, ballet, and folk dance. Noah has taught dance at various dance studios in Los Angeles, Calif., and at a performing arts summer camp, and has taught master classes in Tel Aviv, Israel. Along with teaching, Noah is the artistic director of the Muhlenberg Circus Workshop and is trained in many different circus performance arts. He has been involved in every dance concert that has taken the stage at Muhlenberg since 2012, and he is a proud member of the MCDC team.
Melissa Denholtz is a junior majoring in dance and business. She graduated from the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts at MCST, where she studied dance as well. She is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. Before coming to Muhlenberg, Melissa was a student teacher in modern, ballet, and jazz classes at her local studio. Last spring, Melissa taught an after-school program at Roosevelt Elementary School through the Teaching Dance course at Muhlenberg. She has also performed in Muhlenberg's informal dance concerts and Master Choreographers in 2014. Melissa is excited to be a part of MCDC this year!
Megan Flynn is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher of ballet, contemporary dance, and Pilates. She received her MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine, and her BFA in Dance from Tulane University. Megan also earned a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies at the Laban Center in London. As a dancer, she has worked with numerous professional companies and toured internationally. As a choreographer, her solo and group pieces have been performed in Europe and most recently in Philadelphia, New York City and Irvine. She has served as a guest teacher for: Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy and the Boston Ballet School; Skipton Summer School in England; and Spoke the Hub in Brooklyn.
Patricia Statkiewicz is a senior at Muhlenberg College majoring in dance with a minor in business. She has been dancing from a young age, studying ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and pointe. At Muhlenberg she has performed in numerous faculty- and student-choreographed dance concerts, and she began choreographing last fall. Over the summer she studied contemporary jazz at Léon Dance Arts NY in New York City. Tricia has taught at MCDC for the past year, teaching ballet and tap. She has also taught at various summer camps and at Cleveland Elementary School through the Teaching Dance course here at Muhlenberg.
Teresa VanDenend Sorge, Ed.M., in addition to supervising and mentoring the MCDC teaching staff, is teaching Monday evening's Creative Movement class. Teresa has been sharing her talents in various teaching positions since 2000, including instructor of dance at Hope College in Holland, Mich.; dance instructor at Koresh Dance Company, in Philadelphia; and adjunct professor at Temple University. Teresa has performed with Aerial Dance Theatre, PUSH Physical Theatre, and InLet Dance Theatre. Teresa received her B.A. in dance performance/choreography as well as receiving her certification in dance education for children K through 12.
Elizabeth Thompson is a senior at Muhlenberg College majoring in dance and biology. She has been dancing for over 16 years, and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe, and hip hop. Before Muhlenberg, Elizabeth assisted and taught dance classes in Maryland. She has performed in a number of shows at Muhlenberg and has also choreographed for some of the student concerts. Elizabeth is excited to start teaching at MCDC this year!